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Biofuels for Transport in Germany

Submitted by on January 27, 2016 – 11:25 amNo Comment

(Task 39 Newsletter) …  This article briefly introduces the regulative framework in the EU and in Germany before addressing current developments and perspectives of conventional and advanced biofuels.  …  The main instruments for decarbonizing the transport sector in the EU along the whole value chain (or well-to-wheel, WTW) are:

(i) related to the fuel side (or well-to-tank, WTT) – a target of 10% sustainable renewables in transport and 6% greenhouse gas emission reduction from road fuel suppliers by 2020; as well as

(ii) related to the vehicle side (or tank-to-wheel, TTW), CO2 emission standards for cars and vans and legislation for a broad market introduction of clean and energy-efficient vehicles; or

(iii) related to e.g. aviation (or tank-to-wake, TTW) – targets for biofuel volumes and low carbon fuels (Figure 2).

However, in the current policies there are no direct links or harmonization between WTT and TTW emissions; the former considers GHG emissions (i.e. including all CO2 equivalents such as methane and nitrous oxide), whereas the latter considers just CO2 emissions related to the fuel combustion in vehicles.

Moreover, under the Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFID, 2014/94/EU) member states are required to develop national policy frameworks for the market development of alternative fuels (mainly electricity, CNG, LNG and hydrogen) with regard to infrastructure requirements [11]. In addition, the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD, 2003/96/EC) is binding and sets minimal taxation rates for energy carriers. In 2011, the European Commission proposed adjusting the ETD from a volume-based tax to a CO2 and energy-based tax on energy carriers, but this has not been adopted yet. [12]

For the WTT-related part, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directvie (FQD) have been implemented at the EU Member State (MS) level. Up to now member states have differed significantly in setting policy instruments and measures. Most of them have shifted away from financial instruments towards quota systems for fuel suppliers.

For the time frame post-2020, only general, not sectoral related, binding targets until 2030 are set which are: (i) about 40% GHG emission reduction compared to 1990; (ii) 27% share of renewable energies related to energy consumption at EU level; and (iii) 27% improvement in energy efficiency [13].

Current regulatory framework in Germany

In Germany the European directives and regulations are implemented adequately by §37 BImSchG (Federal Emission Protection Act), including BiokraftNachV (related to RED) and §36 BImSchV (related to FQD) and the EnergieStG (related to ETD). In 2014, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety published a draft of the twelfth law amending the BImSchG, which includes a change in the GHG reduction targets (3.5% from 2015 / 4% from 2017/ 6% from 2020). In addition, it contains numerous enabling provisions, which will simplify the implementation of future European law into national law.

Germany is the first and probably only European member state to have shifted from energetic related quotas to GHG related quotas starting in January 2015, making the FQD the leading policy instrument instead of the RED. This means that fossil fuel supplier companies will be obligated to sell the respective biofuel or renewable fuel with its fossil counterpart petrol or diesel (which is usually done through blending), in order to produce a fuel mix which achieves a 3.5%/4%/6% GHG mitigation (compared to fossil gasoline and diesel mix) for the entire fuel sector from 2015/2017/2020 onwards.

After 2020, the GHG mitigation target remains at the level of 6%. Biofuels are currently the only way to fulfill the target, other instruments will follow. Because only actual emission savings count towards the quota (double counting is not allowed, GHG emissions of biofuels to be calculated on life cycle basis according to GHG methodology in RED/FQD), the exact increase in a biofuels use depends on its specific GHG intensity: the higher the specific GHG mitigation potential the lower the required renewable fuel consumption to fulfill the quota.  READ MORE   IEA-Bioenergy-Task-39-Newsletter-Issue-41-December-2015-FINAL

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